Flying for the first time — or for the first time in a long time — may be a thrilling and life-changing experience, and it may be pretty stressful. You want to walk up to the gate with the confidence of a seasoned traveller, but it isn’t easy to do when you don’t know how much it costs to check a bag or what to anticipate at airport security.
So, what are your options? Before you set out, review these ideas to build your confidence and make your journey smoother and less stressful.
You’re about to board an aircraft for the first time and have no clue what to expect? That’s alright; they have all been there at one time or another. It’s a terrifying event, and the only way to improve it is to plan.
With this detailed guide, they will assist you in doing just that. They will walk you through your first flight step by step, from when to start packing to how to deplane properly.
After reading their extensive Flights from Mexico City to Seattle travel recommendations for first-time travellers, everyone will believe you’re a seasoned traveler, so keep reading.
Examine the airline’s baggage restrictions
Before travelling, visit your airline’s website to learn about luggage size, weight limits, and baggage costs. While these vary depending on the airline and the price paid, here’s what you may usually carry on a regular flight on a major airline:
- Two complimentary carry-on items: one full-size carry-on the size of a compact rolling suitcase or smaller, and one small personal item, such as a handbag or backpack.
You may have to pay to check your carry-on luggage if it is too large. Similarly, if your checked baggage exceeds a specific size limit, you may be charged a higher-than-usual amount to check it. If at all possible, avoid these shocks.
In your carry-on, keep the necessities
Put anything challenging to replace in your carry-on luggage, such as prescription medication, contacts or glasses, or critical papers. In the unlikely event that your checked luggage is lost, you won’t be without that item. In addition to your laptop, headphones, and a book or magazine, you’ll want to bring some in-flight entertainment.
Just make sure you stick to the restrictions set out by the Transportation Security Administration regarding what you may bring. Also, if your carry-on luggage is too large to fit the seat in front of you, it may have to be checked. If you’re travelling overseas, there may be additional restrictions to follow.
Arrive two hours early at the airport
Taking an aircraft is not the same as taking a bus; it takes significantly longer. In fact, for domestic travel, the TSA suggests arriving at least two hours before the flight and three hours for overseas travel.
Finally, you must allow enough time to get your boarding permit, check your luggage, and pass through security before your airline departs. It might take up to ten minutes, and it may take significantly longer at other times, particularly during high traffic hours.
It’s also worth remembering that boarding the aircraft isn’t a free-for-all. Passengers usually board in groups 30 minutes before the flight, and boarding time will usually be displayed on your ticket.
Keep a copy of your ID on you on all occasions.
Airport security used to be somewhat lax decades ago. “At one time, whether you were travelling or not, whether you had ID or not,” Klee adds, “you could simply go up to a gate.” Passengers 18 now have their IDs checked by TSA personnel.
Have your ID card, driver’s license, or passport ready as soon as you enter the airport to save time. You’ll need it while checking luggage and going through security, and you don’t want to be fumbling through your wallet while waiting in line.
Wear shoes that are simple to take off and on
The most stressful aspect of travelling is going through airport security, but the entire process may seem less draining if you know what to anticipate. Unless you have TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, you must usually:
- Remove your shoes (unless you’re under 12 or 75).
- Remove your hat, belt, jacket, wallet, and bulky jewellery from your pockets, and remove your hat, belt, jacket wallet, and wallet from your pockets.
- Use an X-ray machine to scan these things and your carry-on luggage.
- A metal detector or a body scanner must be passed through (or opt for a pat-down)
Preparing for this — for example, by wearing shoes that are easy to slide on and off and ensuring that your carry-on is TSA-compliant — may help speed up the procedure.
Respect the personal space of other travellers
Flights are usually heavily booked, and most seats have minimal legroom. Be aware that this may cause anxiety among your fellow passengers, so proceed with caution.
“You have to be careful of your possessions or body parts moving into another location that isn’t yours,” Sills-Dellegrazie explains.
“It may be as simple as changing your hair over someone’s TV screen.”
Using perfume or cologne, eating odorous foods, or listening to loud music may unknowingly offend your neighbour. You can’t prepare for everything, like Flights from Mexico City to Chicago travelling with an enraged kid, but you can avoid making an in-flight blunder.
Prepare a backup plan
Now for the first-time flier version of the “worst-case scenario” game: What if you don’t make your flight?
Take a big breath first. It is common for airlines not to charge you extra if you miss your flight due to unforeseen circumstances, such as a lengthy traffic delay. You must tell the airline immediately if you miss your flight to get a free rebooking.
You should check your airline’s smartphone app or an airport screen if you think you could be missing a connecting flight to determine which gate your plane is departing from and whether or not you’ve forgotten it. You may be permitted to board as long as the aircraft hasn’t passed. If the airline is at fault for your missed connection, you may be able to rebook your flight for free and perhaps get vouchers for free meals or lodging as compensation.
In both circumstances, the idea is to be proactive. Keep the airline’s customer support phone number on hand if you are in traffic. If you’re already at the airport, inquire about rebooking at the customer service counter. Although missing a flight is inconvenient, it does not have to wreck your trip plans.